Best announcer!

Ted gave me an idea. I have never seen the thread he was talking about but that’s a good idea. Who was the best announcer you ever heard and why?
For me I think it was Roby Helm that used to announce at Desoto in the 80’s. Roby never had any dead air. When there was a lull in the action, he had the crowds mind busy. He had the gift for gab. Roby would make it a priority to learn all he could about the drivers on the track. He built a re-pore between the fans and the drivers without them ever meeting. If we had a meet and greet it was then special for the fans. Roby is still announcing,I think in Nashville or Memphis. I last heard him at East Bay when the Storm Pay Late models were there. He was traveling with them. A very close 2nd or maybe tied for first is Jason Beckner. Racing Jason is Mr. excitement. He was at CCMP, now PGS for several years and is now at Hendry County and traveling with the UDLMCS. Thanks Bob…


its hard to say whos the best. each have a style of their own but one i always enjoyed was Rick Anges. there could be a boring 4 car race going on and rick could keep you on the edge of your seat. i could always hear him…lol (big mouth)… he always knows the drivers names and keeps things interesting. like i said… its hard to pick… another of my favorites was steve hashem at Charlotte County Speedway. Steve always spent time with the fans! kept people personally involved. he also went for the ride in a school bus race and he was hysterical. he screamed and we got to experience his fears etc. thru the race. i would laugh til i had tears he was so funny. kids loved him too.
i think sometimes announcers are way too serious. i think they should be accurate but lots of fun…unfortunately steve is in law enforcement and could no longer announce for us.
i also think there should be 2 announcers. one in the tower and one going thru the crowd and talking to drivers. Phil Schryver and tony monica are a good team when they announce together at Citrus…like mark keeler alot too. (talk about a guy who KNOWS racing…) hes another jerry binner… a wealth of racing knowledge…im trying to think of an announcer i DONT like and i am drawing a blank…
carolwicks aka oz

My two favorites were Bob Keith and Gordon Solie… I grew up listening to these guys and learning from them… They weren’t just announcers, they were entertainers… Bob is still the funniest announcer I’ve ever heard and I can remember bugging him about all kinds of things when I was a kid going to Orlando Raceway… He was an old-time top 40 DJ who eventually became an Orlando City Commissioner… Most people who’ve been around FL racing a long time Remember Solie from Golden Gate… The guy didn’t have the greatest “voice” but he sure could make you believe anything!! guess he got that from his wrestling promotions… I’ve had the priviledge of working with and hearing many great ones like Jack Miller, Larry MacMillan, Chip Green and so many others… Then of course you have the one and only (thank goodness) Joe “Boombox” Linebarier!!!

Now I see why I posted this! Theres a whole wealth of announcers I didn’t remember. How could I forget Linebarier, Jack Miller, Larry Mac, Gordon Soley and Rick Anges They all were or are great announcers. Carols right about Rick Anges. He can make a 4 car race exciting. When I traveled with the UDLMCS he traveled with us and did a great job. I too grew up with Gorden Soleys announcing. I am not sure if I first saw him at the wrestling arena or Golden Gate but he was good at either. I also agree with Carol, 2 announcers is the bomb. They can play off each other. Tony Modica is good too. Robby Coopers Dad, I can’t remember his name was pretty good too. Announersdave ain’t too shabby either. Now that I think about it, theres no way much to compare them. They all had their strengths and Daves right too, its about the entertainment. There was a young guy at CCMP a couple years ago that worked with Jason. I can’t remember his name but him and Jason were good together. Bob…

I have to say Dave and Mark… but honestly my favorite was Hammin Hank. He was a show all by himself mixing comedy with a great knowledge of racing and the racers that kept the fans interested in every word that he had to say. Racin Jason is pretty good too.

Roland Via was by far the worst, NOBODY else is even close.

Bruce Flanders is a legend on the west coast, and while he’s really good – great voice – i don’t know if he’s the best. there was something kind of comforting about Jack Miller – when he was in the booth, you just had a feeling it was going to be a good night of racing. When I was announcing for a touring midwest series, I learned how hard it was to show up at a couple of new tracks every week, with different sound systems and different resident announcers, and try to make it work, and Jack had the knack. Is anyone going to his service this Saturday?

Trying not to send this thread off on a tangent, but what do you think makes a good announcer? IMHO, the track needs a host and master of ceremonies. Its more important to make the fans feel at home than it is to pump them up doing an auctioneer style, lap-by-lap description of the action. Besides, most racecars are loud and most sound systems are not, so it usually does no good to get too involved in a description of action that the fans can see anyway. I suggest that a good announcer gives the complete line-up (while it is still quiet), point out facets of the race that may be funny or not be as obvious, and be sure to update us on the fundamentals like how many laps are complete. Sure, we could just “check the scoreboard”, but THAT is a whole different thread.

Adding color to an already interesting cast of characters is important. If the announcer can manage nicknames, funny stories, friendly interaction with the drivers, then the fans will have a much better show. I never heard Gordon Solie at a track, but grew up watching him on TV, and I can imagine that he must have been great.

That being said, I have to remember Bill Chesser who worked at Hialeah 20 years ago. It was like he was sitting next to you on the couch and talking about our favorite sport, instead of being “up in the tower”. Yeah, he would get excited when something was going on, but otherwise he was cool, friendly and low-key. I felt welcome there, like we were pals, even though he was also addressing a thousand others.

We have lots of good ones working in our state, including former DJ turned self-trained announcer Mark Keeler, and a guy who, when the mood is right, has the driest, silliest and funniest sense of humor…announcer Dave. BTW, he is the one who hung “boneman” on me.

I remember when I was a kid going to the Gate listening to Gordon Solie, then we went to East Bay when it open with Dickie Edwards as the announcer. Those two are two of my favorites.

Best announcers

My hands down favorite : Gordon Solie . Grew up watching him on tv with Championship Wrestling from Florida and listening to him at Golden Gate.

Credit Announcer Dave : for naming my car the “Upside down McDonalds car”.
At Sunshine we had a sponsor called Ward auto sales on the car , but we used the big McDonald’s M on the hood, upside down, as a W.
(Bill Elliott fan).

Favorite motorcycle announcer : AMA Supercross. Back in the day when we were racing MX we would travel to see Supercross, before they ever came to Tampa Stadium, and this guy was Phenominal.
Larry “Supermouth” Huffman

I taught Hank Sanders everything he knew about announcing… he was just more flamboyant than me LOL… Actually, what set Hank apart from the others was the mechanical knowledge he had from actually building and driving cars… He could tell you things that I would have no clue about… He was always one of my favorite people at the race track for many years… Has anybody seen or heard from him lately???

Now there another note. I think the announcers that have driven or owned race cars make good announcers. Not that the others aren’t but the knowlege as Dave says is enertaining to the crowd. Does anyone remember the announcer at Sara mana Speed Bowl? I liked him but I can’t remebmer his name. Then agin that’s been a couple years ago, 1953 when I first heard him. Bob…

Dave W.

Besides Hank, we had another announcer that was also a racer for a short period of time. Right now I cannot think of his name to save my life but I think he had a sportsman (maybe) and was fairly young. He left us and went on to announce at Lake City Speedway (now North Florida) I think. Do you remember him??

Probably Jon Harney… I know he announced at Putnam too…

Westerman is always a joy and I loved Larry Macmillan over at Citrus.

Frank Ironmonger at the Lane Ave, Jax track was very good I still refer to hot dogs as tube steak. Larry Sunbrock was not bad you just could not believe a word he said.

Yep Dave, that was him. I knew you would know. He only announced for a short period of time but he did announce after Hank left. But he was a racer/announcer and Rick Anges did race school buses also so he could be classified as racer/announcer.

This state is blessed with many great announcers, the top of my list is Jack Miller. then of course you can’t forget the golden pipes of Marty Little, another good one was Al Erb I think he invented the word “Camara” also to this day many people call it “Desota” Speedway. Another good one I havent seen mentioned here is my buddy Scotty Mac aka Scott Hawkins back in the SARA days he always kept me on the edge of my seat. I always like working with Joe Lineberrier, I swear he researches the internet for vowels and adjectives to add to his nightly repertoire. Jason Beckner is also fun to work with when we are together there is non stop action! Westerman, Sanders, Gene Crane, the list goes on and on. I am just honored to be menetioned in this list. Every one of us works hard to do what we do and I think it’s pretty cool when people let us know they like what we are doing. Thanks!!!

Rick you guys are the voice of what we do. You guys make my video come alive. Thanks for what you do! Bob…

[SIZE=“4”]Hands Down…

In that order?

Durn Jim That pic of Gorden must have bee in the 60’s or earlier. He sure looks young there. Old Larry Mac. The last time I saw him was I think the Eddie Brower or was it the jack smith fund raiser. I know I didn’t take the time to stop and talk and I have regretted that since he passed. Bob…